Saturday, December 15, 2007

speedy report

Coverage in the local weekly on the Cootes Speed issue:
Results of speed study not yet released to public
Craig Campbell, DUNDAS STAR NEWS
Published on Dec 14, 2007

A local transportation group based at McMaster University and deeply involved in pedestrian and cyclist safety issues in that area is disappointed it wasn't even informed about a speed study on Cootes Drive.

More than two weeks after the three-day recording of vehicle speeds in a 40 km-h zone near a pedestrian-controlled traffic light, results of the study still not available this week.

City of Hamilton traffic technologist Chris Van Berkel said Wednesday morning results had been downloaded from equipment that recorded the speed of every vehicle that drove over it for at least three days. But Mr. Van Berkel needed permission from Councillors Russ Powers and Brian McHattie to release the data.

Transportation for Livable Communities representative Randy Kay wrote a letter on Dec. 6 to Mr. Powers and the Dundas Star News, expressing opposition to the idea of raising the 40 km/h speed limit.

"TLC would like to remind all parties that speed has a direct impact on the survival rates in collisions," Mr. Kay wrote.

Included with the letter is a chart based on United Kingdom statistics that shows 85 per cent of pedestrians struck at 64 km-hr are killed, while only 5 per cent struck at 32 km-h are killed. Mr. Kay's letter stated the lower speed limit at the Cootes crossing was introduced as a safety measure at a very busy pedestrian crossing.

"TLC cannot accept a decision that would allow lack of obedience to the posted limit to result in raising the speed limit. This would be rewarding law-breaking speeders at the expense of traffic safety."

The speed review was sparked by concerns over a drop in the speed limit from 60 km-h to 40 km-hi that most drivers do not appear to be following.

Just three months after the pedestrian controlled crossing was installed, a student was struck and killed by a vehicle while using the crossing.

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